While social media can make us feel more connected to loved ones, it also can cause some relationships to unravel, experts suggest.
According to Dr. Scott Bea, a clinical psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, when social media and social lives intertwine, it creates jealousy in relationships.
“Imagine starting a dating relationship and you find out the guy that you’re involved with has 350 female friends,” Bea said. “I mean, it creates a whole new kind of stress. You have all of this competition that you might not have known about before. It might not have existed before.”
A new study ranks the ways in which social media can cause stress in relationships. The most cited cause of stress was sharing too much information on your profile page. The second was tagging an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend in a photo.
Getting a friend request from an ex or finding incriminating information on partner’s walls or in their photos can also cause fights between couples.
In the past, it was much easier to keep secrets from a significant other, Bea said. Now, couples have to get accustomed to a little less privacy.
“We weren’t built to think about the person we’re dating having so many other social contacts and friends that might compete with us,” he said. “We like that feeling of exclusivity, that we’re the one that matters first and foremost.”